Saturday, June 1, 2019

Creating a Home for the Homebody

Y’all I am a homebody.  I did not realize how much until I flew to California last week and left the boss with the minions.  My awesome husband literally took my kids to ALL THE PLACES.  They must have seen more in those four days than the entire 2019 with me.  It’s not that I don’t like to go to all the places, I just prefer to be in my cozy little home.

However, the house has recently felt overwhelming.  I steer to the outside to get away from the piles; of dishes, laundry, toys, and to dos.  I avoid attempting to deal with the clutter that has built up because I don’t even know where to start!  There is an entire basement that I hardly ever hang out in... why?  The one place I loved has turned into a place that breeds anxiousness and insecurity.  Whenever I don’t feel at home in my own house I go back to the beginning with this one simple question. 

I want my home to be a cozy space.  I long for it to breed joy and memories.  Our home is where we learn and make mistakes.  I dream for it to be free from clutter, organized, beautifully decorated and a lived in sort of tidy.  There’s a rhythm we all move to that allows for the fast pace to find rest.  It is where we can focus, create, and serve.  My home is my family’s sanctuary where they can encounter God and know within those four walls they will be loved and accepted.  

I want my home to always be ready to welcome visitors with the smell of coffee, tea, and treats.   I want for others to come in and experience the traditions, witness our history displayed on our walls, and have the opportunity to connect.  Our table is the centerpiece where love is served and the stresses of the busy outside is left behind.  I long for it to be a place that offers others rest, joy, peace, love, and healing.  

It sounds like big order but there was a time when my home felt this way.  I know with some work it is possible.  I simply need to SIMPLIFY.  Simplify our calendar, meals, our everything!  BUT first the our space.  

For the month of June I will be tackling the home starting with decluttering all the following areas:

The rules are simple:
  1. NO organizing or buying bins/new things (YET)
  2. Have two bags ready to go, one for trash and one for donations
  3. Go through everything and get rid of anything that doesn't serve purpose, hasn't been used in years, or is not my favorite. 

It’s that simple!   Ya’ll will be keeping me accountable on Instagram as I fill trash bags and clear the clutter each week.  I am a child, I really need the accountability. 

I want you to take a moment to answer that first question.  How do I want my home to feel like?  Then save the  list and lets tackle the clutter together.  Share your answer and progress with me by tagging me on Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #makeitcozeehomebody

Grab your bags, ready, set DECLUTTER! 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Living Water

This gem is one of my favorite places in Ohio.  It’s a hidden scenic treasure of water falls, quiet streams, lush greenery, and an easy enough hike for all of us to enjoy together.  When we walk through the woods the water is flowing to my left.  Let me get a teeny cheesy because that is who I am.  I think of it representing my journey in life.  Sometimes there is stillness and other times it’s wild and running rapidly.  I never noticed it before but in the midst of the raging water is this tree.

It is SO OUT OF PLACE!  It isn’t surrounded by soil or other trees.  It’s perched up against a big honky rock.  You can’t tell by the picture but this river is FLOW-ing.  How is this tree surviving without visible soil, pushed up against a rock, not being moved by the fast-flowing stream?! 

As soon as I saw this tree Psalm 1 came to mind.  

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

This tree is just like the one in verse three, planted by streams of water and whose leaf does not wither.  The elements don’t affect this tree.  My idea of what it needs to grow doesn’t affect this tree.  The tree is surviving because it has the one thing it needs, living water

You see where I am going with this right?!  We know that Jesus is the living water (John 4:10).   A person who anchors himself [meditates on the law day and night] on Jesus is just like this tree.  That person is not affected by the circumstances that surround them.  They aren’t moved by what others think about them. The person whose planted by the stream of living water will prosper in whatever they do.  So sister, lets plant ourselves near the stream of living water, or better yet right in the center!!  Let us daily be mindful of who God is and what he is doing in every part of our journey.  

Giving you hugs today!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Life and Death are in the Power of the Tongue

My now mother in law knew that life and death are in the power of the tongue.  Words spoken repetitively have power because they become sealed into a deep pocket in our heart.  Good or bad, we never forget the impactful words someone says to us. 

Since I was a teeny tiny teenager, this mighty woman spoke the same phrase to me OVER and OVER:

Whatever your hands touch prospers. 

Beyond saying them, she also showed me that she truly believed it.  When I was a new mom I had the most basic sewing skills.  I would share my desire to create a dress for my daughter's first birthday and she believed I could, using the machine she bought me because I had a desire to learn how to sew.  

I went through a I want to open a small business phase.  She abundantly verbalized my ability and talent.  Whether it was setting up a craft booth of things I created, the short time I was a party planner, or when I became a health and fitness coach, she was always my first customer.  It has been 15 years and I still hear her saying: 

Whatever your hands touch prospers.

Now as I talk about my desire to do ministry and write a book, she is cheering me on and offering  her Amazon account as a venue where my yet to be written book will be sold.  At thirty-ish years old the words echo when I am creating, writing, mothering, doing the wife-y gig.  They softly whisper to me in moments of self-doubt.  They speak loudly in every new adventure I start and gives me confidence  to excel. 

These words also remind me that I have the same power to offer life giving words.  I think about my own kids and how I speak to them.  Am I mostly speaking life or death?  Is my tone motivating or deflating?  When I think about phrases that come out of my mouth repetitively I cringe because they mostly include:

Lightning speed.
Clean your room.
Set the timer. 

Ya'll I'm not okay that these are the words my kids hear most frequently and likely in a deflating tone.    My heart desires to follow the example of my mother and speak powerful life giving words.  I’ve been thinking about each of their personalities, gifts, and asking God what he wants them to hear OVER and OVER.  I’ve been praying for him to craft their power phrase that will rest in the small pocket in their heart.  I want to speak powerful encouraging words that will echo as they grow, whisper in moments of doubt, and speak loudly into their future. 

Today lets speak life, lots of it, to as many people as we can! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Styling an Old Small Kitchen

Something crazy happens when someone believes that you can do a job that you are completely unqualified to do.  You may actually do it and exceed your own expectations!  Imagine that. 

That is exactly what happened when the hubby informed me that he bought a new rental property that needed a "little work".  Our other places have been move in ready.  This would be the first we got our hands dirty in.  Ya'll I was a little intimated when I saw the plastic coating peeling off the cabinets.

"You can do it!" 

The words of a confident man whose seen his wife use cans of spray paint on a few small pieces of furniture.  I nervously mustered up an "I can try".   Then came boatloads of Youtube because we all know it is the mecca for the how to.    More than twenty hours later, primer, paint and the kitchen was finished.  It came out SO MUCH better than I had anticipated, all because someone believed I could.


Something crazy happens when you believe you can.  You go and try to do something you're completely unqualified to do.  Imagine that!

I was so excited after finishing this little kitchen I channeled my inner Joanna Gaines and decided to style it for the listing pictures.  Ha!  I am generally a very indecisive person but I opened up my Target app and clicked away with confidence.  Rug,  curtain, cake stand [this is my very special treat].  I grabbed a tray, a vase, my tea container, some faux plants from my house and I was ready to rock and roll.
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I even went so far as to climb this tree to snip off some blossoms.  Hubby told me my daughter used a large branch to climb on.  Her mother on the other hands not as smart.  I moved that branch and decided to give watching neighbors a funny show.   Took off the shoes and prayed the two tiny branches I held onto while jump climbing wouldn't break.


The words of a man who did not realize his wife was going to take this little kitchen to the next level. The words made me feel proud.
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I have an attachment to this kitchen.  We've spent so much time together and I've seen it transform.  In actuality we have transformed together.  The beauty of this this little kitchen is the journey.  It pushed me to learn something new, make mistakes, and take chances.  I am more decisive and more confident with a roller brush.  I turned this outdated kitchen into a lovely place for someone else all because someone believed I could do a job I was completely unqualified to do.

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Love the mix of textures, blues & greens, glass, metal, and wood combo?  PIN AWAY sistah!  Whether you're completely resurfacing your cabinets, or just updating your space, or jumping into something completely new, know that I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Easter Basket Ideas

I'm feeling the sting of the evolution of our Easter Baskets.  When did we go from sippy cups to legos?  How did we get from bows to nail polish?  My mama heart is a little tender whenever I see evidence that my once babies are growing up to be "big kids".   Old Easter baskets reveal the passing of time but one thing remains the same, the formula for putting them together even when they were babies.

[Slightly weeping over these more mature Eater Baskets.]

When it comes to putting it together, I follow a three part rule: needs, wants, and yums.

The kids have yet to discover that the bulk of what goes into their baskets are things I would already be buying them.  HA!  The last couple of years the needs have been geared towards the upcoming spring and summer.  It is also a great time to gift and replenish art supplies and outdoor items.   I've included: hats, flip flops, bathing suits, pajamas, socks, tooth brushes, sunglasses, art supplies, bubbles, chalk, paints, books.

This portion of the basket contains a want, generally a toy or a trinket.  I've done movies, nerf guns, potato heads, toy trains, stuffed animals, whatever catches my eye at the dollar section at Target, and little do and throw crafts from Michaels.

Candy.  A basket is not complete without candy!  This is going to sound terrible but over the years I have used leftover Halloween candy to put in the plastic eggs.  Shameful, I know.  They didn't care, they were just happy to be loaded with sugar.  One year I created eggs by sewing two pieces of pretty scrap book paper filled with candy to rip open.

So what is in this years basket?
NEEDS: bathing suit, spring/summer shoes [my kids and I love Natives], cover ups, toothbrushes [exciting, I know]
WANTS: legos, nail polish, squishy pencil covers, fun glasses
YUMS: Halloween candy and a surprise egg [anyone else have kids that love these]

If you'd like a list of ideas this site 101 Kids Easter Basket Ideas is still my favorite go to.  I also posted some fun ideas friends have shared on what to put in Easter Baskets or how to present them on my Facebook Page.
Easter baskets-2

Hoppy Easter everyone!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Overcoming the Biggest Hurdle.... the KIDDOS


is my greeting for little man. He's usually not up when I'm getting ready but on this particular day I hear little feet down the hallway.  He peeks in and asks me where I'm going.  I tell him, “Today I am going to work” [and my heart breaks a little].  He shatters it with the pouty face, “But I don't want you to go.”  The tears start to well up, “I'm going to be sad.”  Your heart breaking with mine yet?  Talk about a stop at guilt trip station!  The teacher in me redirects and I tells him “it's only a few hours and your favorite sitter is coming to play with you.”  Daddy gives him a pep talk, he is satisfied and walks away to his room. 


the kids will be fine.... but when I get back, they kinda aren't.  After my work day [it’s only three hours] I come home to two emotionally full kiddos, crying, and tired.  I put Cindy on my lap and snuggle her.  When I ask what is wrong she says “I didn’t want you to go.  I miss you and you’re going to leave always.”  OH BOY!  I put both down for a nap and started to clean & pray.  
[as you can guess this was before I left]


and know that I AM God.  He is God, and he knows all so I start asking WHY… Why all the tears and distress from Cindy.  God, this is a girl who tried to give me the boot at parent’s day when she was only two and going to preschool.  Ms. independent who begs me to let her take the bus and reassures me that I don't have to stay and watch her three-hour gymnastics practice.  She’s been without me for three hours plenty of times.

As I'm folding a green dish cloth the answer comes, because you are leaving her.  In all those memories, she was always the one leaving me.  She was in control and had the choice.  This was totally new to them since I have only worked from home and insecurities were welling up inside.


is what I failed to do.  I had done a good job preparing the kids physically for the change.  We practiced routines, packed lunches, set out games, but I didn’t prepare them emotionally.  Maybe because they are still little I didn’t even think about communicating what they should expect and share with them reason why I was going to work.

And so, the explanations and planner came out.  I reassured them that every day I would be home by lunch and as soon as I got home we would read books altogether.  We made plans on what we would do when I come home, play legos, Barbies, and UNO.  We plugged in a mommy and me date into the planner and we all felt a little better.


is what we did later that day on our drive to gymnastics when it was just the two of us.  I shared with her our family dream of a place we can call home and in order to make that happen mommy has to work a little.  She added to the dream and insisted on having a basement, a pool with a slide.  There should be a movie room with a cotton candy machine and we will host lots of parties.  Additions I approve of HA!

I shared with her that just like I am able to bless, teach, and love them, I will be able to that for so many more kiddos!  I bridged the gap and made her part of my work.  She was giddy about being be able to visit the classroom during open house and meet the kids that will be part of my mornings. 


are hard and change is challenging but necessary for growth.  This week I can say we all did a little growing and I'm happy to report I'm pretty confident these little munchkins are going to adjust to this new life just fine.  

Friday, August 11, 2017

The big BUT (and my new adventure)

The last few months Randy and I have been throwing around the idea of me going back to work.  I really really really and I mean REALLY love staying home with the kiddos and I LOVE my chillax life.  Stay at home mom life can have its challenges but for the most part it’s pretty darn awesome. 


When we sit and dream about the future and the life we want to build, I realize that in order to reach some of those goals there have to be some sacrifices made.  Some sacrifices that require more than just cutting the budget and spending less.  SO on my 2017 goal list I put down, This year I will make $2,484 dollars to put towards our DREAM  HOME fund.  I laughed at that number a few times mockingly questioning why I even wrote it as a goal.  How can I do that if I quit working from home this year?


there were more talks and prayer.  God can you make a way for me to even reach that goal?  God if I am suppose to go back to teaching you’ll have to place that desire back into my heart because I really don’t want to.  If I go back to work... it has to be part time at the preschool Randy goes to.  I have to be able to bring him in with me and be out of school in time to pick up Cindy.  The job has to be close to home.  I want an easy adjustment not a drastic one.  All these requests as if I had the right to really ask God for specifics of what I wanted in a job. 


Somehow it happened.  With a text from a cousin telling that a new place was opening and I should apply, an out dated resume [and I mean for real my resume is 7 year old], an interview and BOOM in the course of a month I have exactly the job I prayed for.  For real ya'll every single thing on my prayer list met and my 2017 goal will be reached.  As for the heart thing, God was working on that too.  Earlier this year had started hosting little home school sessions for little Randy with some friends and it totally brought back my passion to teach.
(shopping for first day of school outfits)


And as for the why.  Why go back to work if I really really love being home and DON’T actually have to?  Because of the dream.  I want to be an active participant in building that dream home.  Maybe our constant moving lifestyle makes me yearn for a forever place.  Whatever the reason, that is our dream.  A home where we can host more and offer people a place of rest and fellowship.  A home where the kids will always want to come back to and one we can pass along to them when we're old and wrinkly.  It’s a home uniquely designed for our special family.  There'll be a back yard  that has way too many Weber grills and smokers, a fire pit for me and the kitchen with a big window, farmhouse sink, wood island where we can all cook together.  Sigh*  I like to dream big.

God answered my desire to start making this dream a reality not by ascending a set of keys down from heaven to our dream house, but by giving me the opportunity to partner with him on this new working mom adventure.

On top of the dream, I’m going back because I know our home is the center of my world but it isn’t my whole world.  I have the privilege to pour into these two little faces and now I get to do that for oodles more for a few hours a day.


This year is a test run.  If I so happen to hate working or it’s too much for my needy little family [ha!] then I can always go back to being a house wife.  So here's to an awesome year and a new journey towards a dream being built one brick at a time.